HCSO warns of criminals using apps to steal victims' money

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The Horry County Sheriff's Office is getting calls from people wondering if they really owe the department money. The answer is no. The questions stem from a call that appears to come from the sheriff's office.

The HCSO says the caller is using a smartphone app to change his number on Caller ID so that when he calls, the Horry County Sheriff's Office number shows up on your phone.

The caller begins by saying the victim missed jury duty, and is going to be arrested, but if the victim pays about $800 right then and there, they won't be picked up.

Because the Caller ID shows it's the HCSO, some people may believe the caller.  But don't.
There are a number of fake ID apps to choose from in the Android app store. Descriptions say the apps are for prank calling.

It's happening so often in Horry County, there are reports filed in Conway and Myrtle Beach. But the callers all claim to be a deputy from the sheriff's office.

"These particular apps, or however they're doing that are out there, and it's simply not true," says Sergeant Jeff Benton with HCSO. "We're not collecting money for anybody. If we want to speak to somebody about missing jury duty, the judge from the circuit court or the magistrate court will send a deputy to that person's home, not threaten them with jail time if they don't pay an X amount of dollars."

Sergeant Benton asks that any person who receives a call like this report it to the HCSO at 843-915-5450. He says there is no way to tell at this point whether there are more victims out there, but the office has received more than 100 calls from citizens who don't trust the caller.

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